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There’s been a lot of talk about the new generation (isn’t there always? Even Sokrates complained over disobeying youngsters) and especially Generation D, where D stands for Disruptive. Not to mention all changes happening to most our known structures. This generation faces an economical future that for the first time in history is worse than the one their partents met.

Ready to act – high demanding – but also prepared to deliver (Stockholm and Helsinki RollerDerby teams)

I for one use to claim personal differences are often bigger than generalizing So, is there anything special with this generation? Often, differences on the individual level are a lot bigger. But, if there are indeed theses differences – which are they – and yet more: How should I act if I’m a manager? (And I will conclude – what they’re asking for is at work is something we should all have asked for long ago!)

They need more attention – and have shorter attention span. Take the MTV effect. Double or triple it. We need action. Great! Let’s GO for action!

They expect more feedback – Well, great news again! We all need that, in fact human beings are juat that by mirroring in others minds and communication.

They expect kickbacks – well, that’s just great – as this is normally how it works! But what are the kickbacks, and what levels of kickbacks are achieved when and how?

So as a boss, what do y0u need to do?

My recommendations:

SLA – Seen, listened to, acknowledged – simple actions, but you need to  prepare yourself – your mind and philosophy – before the action is needed.
We all have this need, so better get prepared. It’s a great tool as it works both ways: Seeing some-one and giving feedback makes you visible as well!

Transparency by Reverse leadership style – telling people what to do is out of age. Not only will it stop people from thinking – it only opens a handy escape route as what you are telling is percieved  YOUR goal, not theirs. (Of course you won’t notice as we all learned play the of the game.)
Instead: Regularly ask your employees to present goals, reasons and strategies – why we do what we’re doing et cetera. You not only get to know what is known, but also basic values, how they regard your leadership and – the way business is run.

Coach in a goal-centric way – skip discussions of “right or wrong” issues. In the age of ubiquitous search discussions about who is wrong and who is not is pointless and will only drag the both of you down and you will lose momentum. Focus on “Why?” questions and reverse goal-setting. You may rapidly hear how well goals are understood. (How can one achieve goals that aren’t clear?)

Employees of today need to know it all – from Vision and Mission via Strategy to Tactical/Operations level. The needs of generation D will benefit us all – if we’re just willing to be a little bit more open, transparent – and… demanding! I strongly believe we are now at a good point in history to re-vitalize Management and Leadership.

What do YOU think?
Do you have any similar (or completely different) experiences?
(You may answer in Swedish if that makes you feel better – I’ll provide a reasonable translation in the flow.)

Thanks to Ari Lightman, presenter of this topic at the Enterprise 2.0 conference recently in Boston, MA.

Johan

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We live in disruptive times.
Like glitch on the curve.
Some youngsters have triple diploma, yet form a faily pre-carreer.
Large coorporations hire few – yet we face one of the greatest generation shifts ever seen.
IT departments find it hard to keep up – and people bring in their own stuff – smartphones and pads.
Information flows so fast Top Management and operational staff get it firat, middle management isn’t even left in the middle – they’re out!
Old staff have lost track, speed and direction. Motivation? Come on!!!
New staff want CEO terms and salaries.

So, you thought leadership is for you?
How on earth are you supposed to handle this? After a quest for the leadership that works in this disruptive environment I didn’find THE leadership model tha works – but I found a couple of cornerstones that I’ve integrated into a model I simply call “LUCK”. Is it the ordinary kind of luck we all know? Well, not really; you may call it an integrated leadership model. If I were in Medicine we’d talk of a coctail of cross-supporting drugs. If you’re a carpenter we’d talk of a synchronized toolbox.

So, wjhat are the components of LUCK?
Let’s start from K:
Cognition, here defined as the the way our brain receives, filters, percieve and stores information”. I’ve chosen to use the K as a sign of the deep influence of our brain by means of the internet. K is for cognition in our internetified brains. In an era of searchability we don’t need to argue on whT’s searchable, hence we can focus on our (common) target.
In the K area we understand information perceived to be a threat may trigger the fast response functions of our brain. These are normally three or four: fight, flight or defense. Pretenfåd you’re dead may be the fourth. We also understand tje importance of belonging. To a group, a clan or an idea. We all need to be seen, heard and acknowledged.
Most people are ambitious but they need a target – a goal. But more than that – they need to be part of it. They need.to understand your strategy.

Coaching skills:
What IS coaching? Simply put, to make people able to teach your common goals. How do hou do that? Well, you need to understand other people, how to interact with others in order to reach results. You need transparency – opening up yourself opens others.
You need open access to their “mental hard drive” – and that only happens if you bild trust. So, it all starts with – yourself! 🙂

Unifying internet tools and services:
Communication between people has always been essential for our survival. With an evergrowing amount of information this is already a challenge most of us are facing ds
Aily.
As mentioned before in the K perspective we all want to belong. And in times of continuous change we need To be updated on other units’ success. If not, risk is they will halter or under-perform.
Visualizing
Sharing
Co-working
Streaming
Socializing

Leanleadership:
No Blame
Added value
Remove waste
Spaghetti diagrams
Go to gemba
Heijunka – even out the flow
Teamwork on change work

I will return in coming posts to HOW we do this – how we’re training staff and what results are being accomplished. Meanhwile, feel free to comment and ask questions!

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Get ready!!! All too many people tell me “well, we’ll dive into lean and other improvement strategies if you start showing red”. Well, sorry – that’s gonna be FAR too late. Just like the universe – the pace of development is not slowing down. Despite economical crisis (and there are GOOD reasons there IS a crisis) development does not by far slow down.

And more and more corporations and organisations are getting the mechanisms of transparency! Now, that’s nothing new – chefs all over the world have shown transparency pays off! Used to be filthy places where your food was prepared – Is: clean places – the Hotel Anglais in Stockholm, Sweden even replaced their back wall with a huge glass screen!

Check this story on Nike on processexcellencenetwork.com and consider if there’s anything here for you to learn?

The article claims improvements include:

“A
50% reduction in defect rates
40% faster lead times
20% improvement in productivity
30% reduction in time taken to introduce a new model “

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So, you’ve hear about LEAN and decided to implement it? Congratulations! There’s a lot to learn and you will see it. There’s so much to learn, so I won’t introduce Lean Fatigue here – just a few hints as you enter the path…

* Lean is basically a philosopy – lots of Lean ventures fail in “Metodus Monumentalis” – entering too many new methods, and hence forgetting the mentality. All leadership starts in your own brain, belief system – and actions!

* No Blame is a MUST. We often hear “No Blame… but…” The NB Mentality is here to open our brains, to try and retract it from the fast-protect response to new (and to some level threatening) idea. By introducing an NB Culture ideas (and hidden problems, never before brought to the surface – no-one dared, or though there was value in it!) will flow – and opportunities to evolve and develop will be numerous!

* Customer IS king! And transparency will show this! By means of blogs, tweets and visual means such as photos and videos will prove concepts, and disapprove statements. As colleague Joakim Jardenberg puts it: “Be honest and do good shit”. All people are potential reporters. And your staff are heroes – let them show it! Be transparent with your processes!

 

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The mechanics of how our brains shape our memory is one of my main topics while scanning media. As most management consultants, I too fall into habits. and for now, it’s a lot about memory.
Just the other day I learned that a memory that’s here to stay takes about a week to be established. Searching for patterns of learning, I added Scrum to this. Or rather, Agile Project Management. With its repetitive manner and team-shaping effects, it’s inevitable it’s gonna kickstart amygdala, hence enforcing memory imprints. Agile/normally calls for 30-day “sprints” with deliverables able for test in some way. Also part of the winning concept are the daily short (5-15 minutes) of feedback and short-term planning.

I have to look more into these neurological-agile openings!

What do YOU think?

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I was recently asked this question by a great customer and I thought you may be as interested as them?I’ve gathered three things I’ve noticed recently. (Now, they may all be just MY impression, but I see these trends in soooo many organisations):

Morning calls or MorningMeetings.
As most businesses face an ever-increasing complexity in their environment, more specialized roles of employees (making it impossigle for ANY CEO to keep an eye on everyting) and where misstakes are costly, we need to meet and synchronize. Well, I call it “back to the campfire”. We human beeings are great at reflecting and planning.

More and more managers and leaders are speaking of the “art of leadership”.
“State of the leadership” is showing up more and more frequently. Thus, involving their employees not only in the day-to-day basis of work – but indeed the control mechanisms in detail. Again – stakes are high – we all need to make sure we utilize our resources in the best possible manner.

The returnof Joy.
As more and more managers are getting the coaching style and Lean philosophies, fun returns to the workplace. We are more and more breaking the chains of freudian models where focus was mainly on fixing your weaknesses…  Well, challenges are met with strengths and if we can do it with joy we may have access to all of our inner resources.

What’s your view on this?

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I’ve seen young and open managers turn into the “old style authoric non-democrat” leader just by the background radiation of the past managers. It’s like they say “it’s in the walls” of the office buildning. Well, of course it’s not – but its dormant in our culture – i e our common behaviour!

What to do? Start realizing people are cognitive creatures, find driving forces – and just don’t accept that old style management style. Question, protest if needed. Prove other facts. When in contact “upwards” – put all in “Managerish” – i e Excel and PowerPoint. Include calculations and consequences following different decisions.

Tried this? What happended?

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